Kingdom Men Rising
A film by Dr. Tony Evans
A friend of mine recently took a six-day kayaking/fishing/camping trip on the Pecos River and posted multiple pictures of the journey. My favorites were pictures of a herd of wild mustangs drinking from the river. Looking at the chronicle of his adventure, I imagined myself in his place.
After all, when I retired, one of the goals I set was to take a kayak trip on as many Texas rivers as I could. The Pecos, it always seemed to me, was the apex of those journeys. But as a retiree, I realistically saw myself doing a two to six HOUR excursion.
My friend caught fish to supplement his food supplies and obviously had camping skills I lack. He is experienced, skillful, independent, confident, and self-assured. For him, the trip was challenging; for me, it would end in a life or death struggle-one I’d probably lose
But the allure of stepping away, getting unplugged, living off the land, experiencing life to some degree as primitive man is powerful-especially when equated with my identity of manhood.
In short, he is the stereotypical picture of a real man. And I’m not.
Dr. Tony Evans wrote the book Kingdom Man several years ago, and I’ve always intended to read it. I sought out the DVD series at the chaplain’s library at the Bexar County Detention Center, but the two copies in the inventory were always being used. So when the opportunity to see the film version recently presented itself, I was excited and committed to see it.
Kingdom Men Rising was released for a limited engagement by Fathom Events. You may know them for making available operas or Shakespearian stage productions on the big screen, but I’ve recently discovered their prolific offerings of faith-based movies and events.
I recently had the opportunity to attend a special showing of the stage production of Noah, and the animated depiction of The Pilgrim’s Progress, both of which were excellent.
Dr. Evans discussed the subject of Kingdom Men with great clarity and insight, but he’s astute enough to bring on board male figures including Kirk Franklin, Lecrae, Jonathan Pitts, and several NFL players including Heisman trophy winner Tim Brown and former Cowboys quarterback Jon Kitna. All “real men” without question.
Through their testimonies and conversations with Dr. Evans, it becomes clear that this concept of what it takes to be a real man is socially and culturally developed and falls far below the biblical standard for masculinity, which Evans calls the Kingdom Man.
My understanding is that a Kingdom Man is one who submits and surrenders to the rule and authority of the King, Jesus Christ. This abandonment of Self produces Grace which empowers a man to be obedient in all things.
Obedience prepares and qualifies a man to rule without dominance or illegitimate authority
One of the most moving parts of this picture was the discussions surrounding the legacy of a kingdom man. All Evans’ children have a role in the film and share the legacy they’ve received from their father.
Everyone is probably aware that Priscilla Shirer is one of Evans’ daughters. His other daughter, Chrystal, is a worship leader and co-authored the book Kingdom Women with her dad.
Evans’ two sons are no less accomplished. Anthony is a Christian music artist, and Jonathan is a former NFL player who currently serves as the team chaplain for the Dallas Cowboys.
I left the theater feeling stirred, inspired, and challenged to be a Kingdom Man and hopeful that many men in the church would somehow become similarly inspired.
Dr. Evans posts teaching videos on YouTube regularly, and I’m guessing the movie will show up there before long. In the meantime, I strongly suggest any man to take advantage of the teaching available there.
“Real Men” are all around us. Whether Rambo or Rocky or Rednecks, we have plenty of models to follow.
We need kingdom men to wake up, sit up, stand up, and rise up in order to Man-up! We have a responsibility to be the men God has designed and destined us to be. And there’s only one model we need: Jesus Christ!